09 July 2016

I don’t regret repealing the criminal libel law – Kufuor

kufourEx-President John Agyekum Kufuor says he has no regrets for repealing the Criminal Libel Law during his term in office.

Mr Kufuor’s comment comes on the back of the recent attack on Judges by two radio panelists on Accra based Montie FM, threatening to kill the Supreme and High Court Judges if they dare pass any judgment against the Electoral Commission (EC).

In a very distasteful manner, one of the panelists sought to instill fear in the judges in the country by cautioning that he could identify each Judge’s house and will therefore not waste time to attack them if they don’t allow the EC to do its independent work.

“If this country is plunged into, all those who contributed to it – we will start from their houses. God has really opened the way for these Judges who would want to plunge this country into chaos – I know each and everyone’s house. I know where the Judges live in Accra here. I can show you …I know their quarters – the Supreme Court Judges”.

“I also know the High Court Judges. I am telling you God has a way to show … If they like, they should bring up something – it will start from their residences … I am telling you in their neighborhoods and when we finish them, then it will be over … and we will come back to govern our country”.

“They don’t want this country to make progress and so we have to assist them to go so that we who love the country will help to develop it.

“So, they should sit there if they think they are Supreme Court Judges. The Electoral Commission is insulated. Article 45 – go and check. You cannot do what you are doing. You the Supreme Court Judges – what are you doing for Ghana? Your colleagues Judges who are taking bribes – goats, GHC1,000 among others – aren’t you ashamed of this?”

“Old men and women – square pegs in round holes. You have grown past seventy years and should go on retirement”, said one of the panelists.

But speaking to Nana Aba Anamoah, hostess of State of Affairs programme on GH One TV, ex-President Kufuor, stated that

“When you’ve caged any being or an animal for some time and release it finally free it, you’ll see the reaction. Immediately they will jump out of the cage and run helter-skelter and until they find their balance and slow down. If the lesser beings will do that, what do you expect of humans? When the country had suffered the zip of the mouth for so long, there was no criticisms and everyone lived in fear of authority and since we had suffered opposition for too long, we got the chance to come into power and we said that law should go off the statutes books.

“That was the first law that was repealed and immediately we saw the mushrooming of several radio stations and newspapers and most of them unfortunately turned their guns on us.

“So some people came and said aha, look at the consequences of repealing the law, people are abusing free speech. When you are caged for a long time and you are freed the first reaction is like going crazy but in due course we find stability and that comes with the application of laws that will instill a sense of responsibility for all of us.”

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